Hey guys, Thought I'd share my experience with you all starting by talking with a few mates about how awesome it would be to have a motorbike to actually making it happen. So I'm a 26 year old guy living in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne working from home as an IT Engineer. I've spent time riding motorbikes up on a sheep station in central australia a few years ago and loved it, however the thought and cost of getting my licence and a bike now never made me pursue it as a hobby. A couple months ago a couple of my mates (who ride bikes) made mention that the laws were changing in Victoria and getting a motorbike licence was going to get harder and would require longer periods of L's & P's. So I discussed with my wife about just going and getting my license to start off with - it took a few weeks, but she came round to the idea. In the meantime I went into Peter Stevens at Ringwood just to have a look at what kind of bikes are out there and what prices I'd be looking at if I ever did decide to get a bike. I chatted with a guy there (Mitch) who was great and made no effort to actually sell me anything, but was interested in helping me take the first step and get my licence. I left my number with him and he called back a couple days later letting me know he'd got $30 off getting my learners at Ride-Tek. So for $185 each me and another mate went down and passed the course and walked away with our learner's permit! The thing from here was that I hadn't thought (or discussed with my wife) beyond getting my licence. So now that I had it, I wanted to work out a way to actually get a (decent) LAMS bike & gear with a budget of about $6000 ($5000 for a bike, $1000 for gear). So I jumped onto bike sales and started looking around at what bikes were actually within my price-range and what I actually would be interested in riding. At first, knowing that I'd have to have a LAMS bike for at least 3 years, I'd be keen to get something with a bit more power. The only bikes in that range were either really old with lots of km's or something like a CF Moto. The CF Moto 650NK is where I began started looking. I liked the naked look and the power and price was quite appealing. A1 Motorcycles in Ringwood had a second hand one in store for $5000 which I went and looked at. They were even nice enough to lend me some gear and go for a test ride around the block. My first reactions were that it felt quick heavy (205kg) and I couldn't see past myself in the mirrors. However it was fun to ride and was in my price range! I went home and did a stack more research and actually ended up on these forums reading some reviews. However I came to the conclusion that if I bought a CF Moto, if I got over riding in a few months and needed to sell, the resale value would probably hurt. I also was reading too many things (minor things) that people were having issues with which I don't really feel like having to deal with. So it was back to the drawing board. After several more weeks of research (and probably too many hours watching youtube reviews) I began to settle on the Ninja 300. Used ones were probably about $500 - $1000 out of my range, but I felt I could justify it financially if I could find the right one. After chatting further with my wife, we agreed on the budget of $6000 for everything. However the following day I went out to Peter Stevens again to check out a used Ninja 300 they had in store, I was offered a brand new 2014 Ninja 300 + all the gear I'd picked out, ride away for $7000! As tempting as it was to sign then and there, I used my better judgement and decided to sit on it over the weekend. I had probably spent an hour looking at gear in store and had a much firmer grip on what gear I'd be looking at and the price to go with. Getting back home, I got stuck into looking at gear online and seeing if I could get stuff cheaper elsewhere, but it didn't look like I'd be saving a whole lot. Over the weekend, I kept an eye out for bikes online still (bikesales, gumtree and ebay) and even had a spreadsheet of about 30 Ninjas in Victoria and their specs, km's, years and price! I came to the conclusion that I'd have to spend at least $5500 to get something that didn't have a stack of km's and fairing damage, which made the Peter Stevens deal much more attractive. That night, I was keeping an eye on a decent Ninja that was on ebay. With 10 minutes to go before the auction ended, it was at about $3800 with only 1 or 2 bids. I kept watching it as it jumped up to $4200, then with a couple seconds to go, I won the auction at $4350! Sadly, it hadn't met the reserve and was re-listed right away again. The guy selling it had left his mobile number, so I messaged him asking what he was looking for. He messaged back the next day saying that he was after $5000 flat! I jumped back on ebay and checked out the details of the bike and condition and could hardly pick fault with it (slight scuffing on the side of the fuel tank). It came with the following: - 1,700kms - RWC - 12 Months Rego - Akrapovic Exhaust - Fender Eliminator - Tinted Wind Shield So I called him back and said pending a closer inspection and a test ride, I'd take it! It wasn't available to collect until the following weekend, so I made a quick $100 deposit and then dived into working out what gear to get! After much more research and watching reviews and posting on these forums, I ended up with the following gear: Helmet: Icon Airmada Black Gloss - $100 from AMX Superstore Lynbrook Gloves: RJays Leather - $50 from AMX Jacket: Full Leather (no padding) - $1 from an OP Shop Pants: S3 Skinny Leg Kevlar-Lined - $150 from S3 Performance Boots: Dri-Rider iRide 2 Leather - $120 from Bikebiz [note: Having ridden a bit now, all that gear is great and I'm really happy with it and would recommend to anyone!] On top of that I needed to arrange insurance, but don't feel the need to get comprehensive (yet anyway). So already being with AAMI, I took out third-party + fire & theft for $30 a month. So all the gear rocked up during the week and I picked up the bike Sunday just gone! I've already clocked over 300kms on it and love it! So much fun to ride and am excited about some trips that are already in the pipeline with a few mates, plus joining in on some with you guys - good times ahead! So in total I spent: Bike: $5000 Gear: $471 (inc $50 postage) Stamp Duty: $205.70 Total: $5676.70 + $30 p/month insurance Sorry that was a long-winded story, but hopefully it will help someone else looking at riding and is in a similar situation to where I'm at. I reckon I probably spent about 80 hours worth of research, reading reviews and watching videos, so I'm confident I've done the best I can with the money I had. I feel like it's a great starting spot and assuming I persist with this new hobby, there is much room to grow!